Business and Investment 188, 888 & 132 Visas
Business Innovation & Investment Subclass 188 visas are suited to investors and business owners who wish to invest or establish business operations in Australia. These visas are 4 year temporary visas, however, once received, visa holders can apply for a Subclass 888 Permanent Residence Visa. Business Talent 132 visa is aimed at business owners of large enterprises and entrepreneurs with access investment funding within Australia.
The Subclass 188 Visa has three visa Streams:
- Business Innovation Stream [points tested] requires the application to be made via the SkillSelect process. This process has a “Points Test,” English Language and EOI requirement. The Business Innovation stream offers a 2-year extension if you have held the subclass 188 visa for 3 years, giving you 6 years (temporary status) from the date of grant of the original visa.
- Investor Stream [points tested] Available for applicants making a designated investment in an Australian State or Territory. This stream requires the primary applicant to spend 2 years in Australia before progressing to Permanent Residency.
- Significant Investor Stream. Available to applicants who are making a (minimum) $5 million investment in Australia. After a period of 4 years, applicants may be able to apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Permanent) Subclass 888 visa.
Business Innovation Stream (188 Provisional) Visa
This option requires you to have owned a business and to be intending to establish business operations in Australia. You will need to meet the following criteria if you are applying through the Business Innovation Stream:
- Applicant must be less than 55 years of age at the time of invitation to apply for the visa;
- Applicant must show ownership of a business with turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for 2 of the last 4 fiscal years;
- Applicant must show net personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000; and
- For at least 2 out of the 4 fiscal years before invitation, the Applicant mist have spent at least 50% of time in a management role in the business.
There are a number of other criteria required for this visa, which has a broad and complicated selection criteria. Please contact us for further advice on the criteria you must satisfy in order to be eligible for a 188 Visa under the Business Innovation Stream. What is the Business Innovation Extension Stream (188 Provisional) Visa? A subclass 188 Business Innovation visa holder may be eligible to apply for one extension for a 2 year period, if:
- the visa holder can demonstrate a need to be in Australia to operate / run the business in question;
- the visa holder has held ownership (of at least 30%) in an operating Australian business, for at least two years prior to applying for the extension. (Note – the ownership stake is only 10% for publicly listed companies); and
- the visa holder can show a commitment to maintain their interest in the company and a commitment to operate the business through active, day-to-day involvement.
Investor Stream (188 Provisional) Visa
This option requires Applicants to have managed investments or owned a business in Australia and have a willingness to make further investments in Australia. The applicant must be willing to invest AUD $5 million in Australian State or Territory Government bonds, known as a “designated investment” once the eligible investment has matured. If you are applying for the Investor Stream, the Applicant must:
- Have at least three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments;
- Have had business and personal net assets of at least AUD $2.25 million for the last 2 fiscal years;
- For at least one out of the five fiscal years before invitation, have directly managed either an eligible investment worth at least AUD $1.5 million, or a qualifying business in which the Applicant has owned at least 10% of the total value of the business; and
- Demonstrate net business or personal assets of (at least) AUD $2.25 million, for the two fiscal years immediately before the invitation.
What are eligible investments for the purposes of this visa? The investment must produce a “return” and cannot be for personal use. This list is includes:
- Ownership interests in a business;
- Cash on deposit;
- Stocks or bonds;
- Real estate (excluding family homes);
- Gold or silver bullion; or
- Loan to a business.
What is a designated investment for the purposes of this visa? an investment in State or Territory government issued bonds.
Significant Investor Stream
The Significant Investor Stream is available to Applicants willing to invest at least AUD $5 million a complying investment. The Applicant must show (among other things):
- the $5 million was legally acquired and is unencumbered;
- evidence that they have resided at least 160 days (out of 4 years) in the nominating State or Territory; and
- a real and genuine commitment to maintain the complying investment for at least 4 years.
A Significant Investor Visa holder may be able to apply for up to TWO extensions of the visa, so long as they continue to hold the requisite interest in the complying investments. What is a complying investment? The required AUD $5 million must be invested in:
- Commonwealth, State or Territory Bonds;
- ASIC approved managed funds; or
- Directly into Australian [proprietary] companies.
Direct investment in Australian Real Estate will NOT be considered a complying investment for the purposes of this visa.
What is the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (sublcass 888)?
This visa is the second stage of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188). You can apply for it after you have fulfilled the requirements of your provisional visa. This visa allows visa holders to continue to own and manage a business in Australia under the Business innovation stream, or, continue business and investment activity in Australia under the investor stream and significant investor stream. Visa holders will be eligible if:
- they hold a provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188) and have met the requirements of that visa in the stream in which they first applied; or
- hold a Special Category visa (subclass 444) or a Business (Long stay) visa (subclass 457IE) and have met the requirements of the business innovation stream.
Business Talent Visa 132
Business Talent (Migrant) visas are permanent visas available to applicants in two streams:
- Significant Business History Stream: for people with ownership interests in large businesses; and
- Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream: for people who have access to venture capital funding of at least AUD 1 million.
This visa grants permanent residence status.
State/Territory Nomination: This visa is only available to applicants who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory Government.
All applicants must meet the following criteria:
- nominated by an Australian State or Territory government to migrate to Australia;
- have been invited to apply through the SkillSelect system;
- have a genuine and realistic commitment after entry into Australia, to either establish a new business or to participate in an existing business and to maintain substantial ownership interest, and be involved in the day to day management of the business.
Significant Business History Stream
Applicants must show they:
- are under 55 years of age, unless the nominating State or Territory Government certifies that the proposed business activity is of exceptional economic benefit; and
- for at least 2 of the last 4 fiscal years they had:
- net assets in business of at least AUD 400,000; or
- a 10% ownership of the business if it is a publicly listed company; and
- the business had an annual turnover of at least AUD 3 million for 2 of the last 4 fiscal years; and
- have/own net assets of at least AUD 1.5 million.
Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream
For the Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream, Applicants must have a venture capital funding agreement of at least AUD 1 million through an Australian company who is a member of the AVCAL.